McCleave had earlier been named the interim coach following the retirement in December of legendary coach Don Stoll.
McCleave was a first-team All-County center under Stoll in 2000, scoring 148 goals and earning co-MVP honors in the South Coast League. He went onto play at Golden West College and Long Beach State.
McCleave also signed with a professional team in Greece.
El Toro captured seven CIF-SS titles in 31 seasons under Stoll.
McCleave also will serve as co-head coach with Allison Scott in girls water polo.
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